Buying a lute made by www.jminstruments.com is not only affordable but hand made, you can customise your order from many types of lutes available, or buy a cheaper student lute in stock or to order.
Jminstruments makes instruments based on museum drawings, the inauthentic online factory-made heavy instruments claim to be based on a historic maker but the barring is closer to the oud. If buying is still too expensive then hiring a lute from the lute society UK, mine is number 48, if available.
6 crs Mandolino (Paris, E0702)
The latest addition is this Mandolino with 6 courses as ordered previously, string length of 33cm. The original instrument is in the Paris Cite de la Musique No E.0702. The original is mostly in Ebony and Ivory so I made this one out of Yew wood inspired by the Burkholtzer made before with heartwood yew, the rose also has a roped border. The neck is ebonised maple and the peg box ebonised limewood with natural pear wood pegs. The decorative headstock is made of holly and ebony like the original. The intention was to create a venetian lute feel for the mandolino. The case is an oversized case but was bought as left over stock from Kingham and used for this instrument, it can be bought without this case but it does a good job at protecting it and small enough, the instrument can be bought without the case too.
£1565 without the case, (£120 for case shown above)
The original instrument is below
6crs Student Mandolino based on E0702
Based on the Anonymous mandolino E0702, Cypress ribs with black boxwood spacers, alpinespruce top (one piece, no center joint, as was usually done) bog oak fingerboard, lime wood sickle pegbox, maple neck, pear wood pegs and bridge, Gut strung ( you can get one gut string and cut it in two, halving cost) 1st course is nylgut for longevity, £ 872
Other instruments to order:
Choral Mandolino based on Antonio Stradivari, Cremona 1680 (NMM6045) string length of 31.6. Seen below: